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2010 Camaro SS Project Car - Carbon Footprint
A few body panels and some paint make our ’10 stand out in the crowd
Jun 1, 2011
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2010 Camaro SS Project Car - Carbon Footprint
Shortly after last year’s Holley LS Fest, our Camaro had some downtime so we decided to do a little carbon-fiber dress up. First up, Brian Finch, of Finch’s Hot Rod Restorations, and the car’s owner, Yancy Johns, removed the GM trunk lid’s liner, latch, and rubber bumpers. With that done, they disconnected the struts and unbolted it from the hinges.
The new trunk lid was, pardon the pun, a carbon copy of the GM piece and it used all of the same hardware, even the liner, of the OE lid. Here, Brian checks to make sure alignment was good. We found the new part from Anvil Auto fit as well as the stocker, and we only had to make a small adjustment to the lower latch to get everything sitting flush.
The new trunk lid came without holes for mounting the Anvil spoiler, so it was up to Brian to add them. Using the new spoiler as a template, Brian first drilled small pilot holes from the backside and then larger holes from the topside. This ensured clean edges on the holes. To allow for adjustment, the holes were made a touch on the larger side.
The new spoiler was then bolted in place. Anvil included small pre-cut foam pads to go on the ends of the spoiler to help protect the upper quarter panel when the trunk is closed. We had zero complaints on how well the parts fit right out of the box.
Moving to the Seibon hood, Brian and fellow gearhead, Mark Turner, started by removing the GM aluminum hood and transferring all the parts, like the hood liner, windshield washer system, hood strut mount, and hood latch catch to the new carbon-fiber unit. It’s nice the aftermarket hood has provisions for all the OEM parts since it gives a real factory look.
The Seibon hood fit great and we were impressed with how even all the gaps were. As for pricing, the Seibon hood (available through Anvil Auto) will set you back around $1,200 while the Anvil trunk runs $800, and their wicked spoiler goes for $395. Not cheap, but better than paying less for parts that require a ton of work to get looking right. Besides, who can put a value on looking good?
With the Camaro back in sunny California, we decided to drive it over to Best Of Show Coach Works in San Marcos, California, to prep the carbon-fiber panels for paint. Jon Lindstrom started out by hitting the panels with 600-grit sand paper. He then went over the areas that wouldn’t be painted with some 800-grit.
With the panels sanded, he could then start laying out the stripes with some fine-line tape. This is where a good eye and a steady hand are very important.
The stripes were then laid out on the rear trunk lid and spoiler. To make sure the stripes would line up, the spoiler was set in place. We also decided to leave the lower section, where the emblem goes, in exposed carbon as well.
With the 1/8-inch plastic fine line tape down, Jon then papered off the areas he wanted to leave in carbon fiber.
With the hood, trunk lid, and rear spoiler taped off, Jon laid down two coats of PPG sealer DLV8085. In addition to helping the paint adhere to the panels, the lighter color of the primer means less color will be needed to get full coverage.
For paint, we went with PPG Deltron DBC base coat. The Silver Ice Metallic of our ’10 has been used for years on other GM vehicles going by names like Switchblade Silver and Radiant Silver. Never go by the name, instead get the paint code, which in this case was WA636R.
With his SATA gun loaded up with silver base coat, Jon went to town covering the panels. When shooting a metallic or pearl it’s a good idea to shoot the panels as they would be hung on the car. This will help it all look right once installed.
After letting the panels set up for 30 minutes, Jon then carefully pulled off the paper and tape.
He then laid down a layer of DBC 500 clear base coat to help seal the freshly painted panels. This would allow our pinstripe artist, John Peters, to run his hands over it without FUBARing the metallic paint.
We chose a fine red pinstripe to help accent the stripes and tie them into other red accents on the car like the Baer brake calipers.
With that done, Jon slathered the panels in seven coats of PPG clear. This helped “bury” the graphics so that no line will be felt when touched.
After a few days, he started color sanding the panels. To get that show-car shine, he started with 800 grit, and then progressed to 1200, 2000, 2500, then finished up with 3500-grit 3M paper.
With the sanding done, all the panels were worked over with a 3M wool pad polisher. Care here is imperative since it’s pretty easy to burn through the paint, which would cause a lot more work.
Terry Sparks, of Sparks Restorations, stopped by the shop with a set of his new SS emblems. They are offered for both RS and SS Camaros, and he was nice enough to backfill a set in red to match our accent stripes. On a stock trunk lid the emblems are located using tabs off the back, which go into holes on the lid. On our Anvil lid there are no holes, so we simply cut the tabs off the emblems and secured them with the provided double-sided tape. Here Dick Kvamme uses his “eyecrometer” to get the new emblem centered just right.
And here’s our completed Anvil trunk lid and spoiler. We were very impressed with how well the trunk lid fit and the resulting gaps. Again, we did zero bodywork to the panels, which says a lot about how well the panels are made.
Like the trunk, the Seibon hood fit as good as the stocker–maybe even a little better. The paint really helps tie the hood into the car, and it no longer looks like an afterthought that was slapped on the car. And yes, the heat extractors really do work.
And with that the new carbon-fiber panels were done and our SS now has the looks to match its performance. You can also see a teaser here of our new GM Heritage grill, but you’ll have to tune in to a future issue to get the full story on the installation.
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